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Dubai deports NRI

New Delhi, Feb. 12: Non-resident Indian Ravindra Rastogi, wanted in 10 cases of fraud, was arrested and deported to India from Dubai yesterday after remaining elusive for more than three years.

Arrested on the basis of a red corner notice issued last year, Ravindra was flown to Mumbai and was produced before a designated court in Mumbai. He was remanded to the CBI custody till February 15.

Hailing from Bijnore district, Uttar Pradesh, Ravindra and his three brothers are involved in several financial scams.

The CBI spokesman said they had floated 14 companies in India and claimed that these companies were engaged in exporting bicycle parts to Russia, Hong Kong and other countries at exorbitantly over-invoiced export value with an intention to cheat the government by claiming excess custom duty drawback.

Investigations also revealed that they had opened 98 bank accounts in fictitious names, which they used to deposit duty drawback money, the CBI information officer said. The money was routed to different countries through hawala channel and then brought back as remittances for export items.

Ravindra is alleged to have withdrawn duty drawback to the tune of Rs 43.66 crore on export of bicycle parts to Hong Kong and Russia.

Another brother, Subhash, was earlier arrested in Noida and is out on bail. Ravindra’s third brother Narender was arrested in the US for his alleged involvement in defrauding banks to the tune of $600 million, while the fourth one, Virender, is facing a probe initiated by the Serious Frauds Office of United Kingdom, CBI officials alleged.

The CBI has already sent a request to the US to seek Narender’s extradition, while sleuths are in the process of preparing the extradition request for Virender.

“The CBI on Sunday was informed about the arrest of Ravindra. Subsequently we send a deportation request to Dubai and a senior officer went there to bring him back to face trial,” CBI information officer G. Mohanty said. He was produced before a Mumbai court today and has been remanded to CBI custody.

“We got excellent cooperation from the Dubai authorities on this issue,” Mohanty emphasised.

India’s relations with the United Arab Emirates have improved of late, with several fugitives extradited since Aftab Ansari was caught in 2001. But the had hit a low after Anees Ibrahim, the brother of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and a prime accused in the Bombay blasts case was allowed to go free by the Emirate authorities.

Now, the CBI is struggling to get confirmation on the arrest of some underworld operatives.

Apart from the CBI, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) was also chasing Ravindra for a customs case, while a non-bailable warrant is pending against him, which was issued by a Chennai court.

According to the CBI, the fraud started during 1995-96, when the Rastogi brothers floated 14 fictitious firms in Delhi and exported bicycle parts to Russia and Hong Kong at grossly exorbitant over-invoiced free on board export value. It is alleged that they did this with the intention to cheat the government by claiming excess custom duty drawback.

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